When I tell people what I have been reading, the word genocide’ certainly stimulates a glazed, almost pained look, “Oh.” It seems to be a conversation stopper.
–Robert Birnbaum, interviewing Samantha Power
Well, sorry, but bear with me. From Andie in Capetown comes a link to great interview with Samantha Power. Her book, A Problem From Hell, deserves readers, but according to this isn’t getting them in spite of all its awards. Her description of her own political awakening goes towards explaining why:
“The easy thingwhich I have done for most of my lifeis to block the facts out. Once you are in a position where you have to process the facts, you are stuck.”
From Birnbaum’s introduction:
A Problem From Hell
(the title is taken from Warren Christopher’s characterization of the Bosnian crisis in the mid 1990’s) is a scholarly analysis of America’s policy towards genocide in the 20th century. In a compelling and engaging narrative, Samantha Power traces the United States’ policy toward genocide: the Turk’s slaughter of the Armenians in 1915, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Saddam’s gassing of the Kurds, the ethnic cleansings of Yugoslavia and the Hutus genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda…Suffice it to say, this is a very important book. That fact, however, shouldn’t discourage anyone from reading it.